After a long day of riding/hiking through the Shirakami Sanchi trails, I was more than ready to rest my head on the traditional tatami mat back at the Ryokan.
As you know, traditional Ryokans have most of the amenities that a typical hotel would have, but with an authentic Japanese spin.
I especially appreciated the complimentary tea and snacks during the check-in process.
The one I stayed in last night was rather small, but it did provide me with a free dinner and pre-ride breakfast this morning.
Regardless of the exercise that I do, it seems like nothing works up an appetite better than a long, arduous ride day.
As for today's activity, I'm heading over to the Iwate prefecture to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Sanriku coast.
This stretch of beach technically starts in Aomori, but I was too far west to see it the other day. That's fine.
I'm trying to get as diverse of a scenic pallet as I can get on this trip, so the longer rides are worth it.
Like Shirakami Sanchi, the Sanriku coast is considered to be a popular tourist spot and designated national park.
After 10 days of extensive riding and hiking, I'm ready to do some barefoot walking for an afternoon.
I bid adieu to the Ryokan and head east towards Iwate. According to my GPS, it appears that the ride time will be around 4 hours to the coast.
I better get used to these 4-hour rides, as this time frame is becoming the norm up here. It's a good thing the DZed has an aftermarket seat with extra padding.
I'll gladly take sore feet over a sore ass.
My destination is the Kitayamazaki Coast. From what I've been told, this is the best stretch of the entire Sanriku Coast.
This stretch of land is in a national park and has an observatory that allows visitors to see the best of what the coast has to offer.
Needless to say, I'm excited to actually see some nice scenery, without hiking too far.
I arrived safely along the coastline and the jagged beauty of what's in front of me immediately catches me off guard.
Aside from the pristine beachline, I see several giant, razor-sharp cliffs touching the water. I anticipated seeing a gorgeous beach but the cliffs were a pleasant surprise.
I parked the DZed outside the Observatory and went inside to catch a closer look at the coast. The Observatory has not one, but three different decks to choose from.
All appear to have their own unique angle of view, capturing the elevated beauty of the coast.
One thing that always piques my interest is how the vegetation grows on top of the cliffs. The idea of that sight just seems so contradictory, yet intriguing to me.
Aside from the viewing decks, the Observatory offers everything from food to lodging for their visitors. I made the most of their accommodations and booked a room for the night.
After a few bites of food and stowing my luggage away in my room, I gave in to the temptation of the beach and found a nearby trail to take in the sights.
Since this stretch is part of a national park, designated trails are set up and enable visitors to magnify their glance at the scenery.
This afternoon was spent walking around the different trails, respecting the cliffs draped over the beach.
I just can't get over the sheer magnitude of these formations, and how they play an unheralded role in the beauty of this park.
I never thought that rock formations would steal the show from a well-manicured beach, but I was happily proven wrong. For that reason, I didn't get as much barefoot time as I wanted.
Fortunately, I was still able to acquaint them with the fine, coastal sand for a few moments.
As day gave way to dusk, I went back to the observatory and took in one last view of the coast.
The westward running sun couldn't be caught well from the observation decks but its shadowing shimmer still provided a stunning evening view. Views like this are what make any travel worth it.
Sometimes, we forget why we do things. The mundane, monotonous rigors of everyday life tend to make us lose sight of the moments that really put wind our sails.
Life is meant to be lived to your view of the fullest extent. To me, the word "content" should never be in anybody's vocabulary.
Regardless of your situation in life, I think you should find things that bring you joy and passion. Things that make you strive to be a better person.
This view is a visual analogy for the fruits that we want to bear out of life. Beauty, grace, and passion like this view are worth every ounce of energy spent to see it.
With all that said, that's the end of my day. Tomorrow, I'm finally going to get some off-road riding in at the Sugo Sportsland.
Knowing you, I'm sure there's something else there that will pique my interest. Regardless, I can't wait to take a new ride for a spin!
Thanks and I can't wait to see you!